Stacy & Artem of ‘Amega Family’,: “It was hard in the beginning, but now we don’t even notice”

We have a set schedule that is always fixed and planned sometimes months ahead, and as long as we follow it is pretty easy…school work always comes first at our house, and then it’s time for filming, friends, and family. It was hard in the beginning, but now we don’t even notice. I had the pleasure […]

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We have a set schedule that is always fixed and planned sometimes months ahead, and as long as we follow it is pretty easy…school work always comes first at our house, and then it’s time for filming, friends, and family. It was hard in the beginning, but now we don’t even notice.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Amega Family (Stacy & Artem).

The family refers to themselves as the “Amega” family — a name that the children came up with and is comprised of the first letter of their names. Elena (Mom) and Grigory (Dad) Odnovol grew up in Russia and the family moved to America in 2018.

Artem is the oldest and who has always loved film and was never afraid to explore his artistic talents. Stacy (Nastya) also from an early age loved performing arts and just like Artem she participated in school theater and vocal activities. Unfortunately, due to cultural stereotypes in Russia, Artem faced an obstacle in his artistic pursuit in school- specifically bullying. On a number of occasions, he would come home from school upset and irritated because other kids would bully him for participating in theater and singing classes.

In less than two years, their flagship YouTube channel Nastya Artem Mia has over 2.2 Million subscribers, and they have created over 250+ original episodes which have been seen over 4+ billion times and have over 15+ million YouTube subscribers across their channels 17 YouTube channels produced in 12 different languages that reach every corner of the world.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

We grew up in a mid-size city Of Krasnodar in Russia. Our parents had their own businesses — Dad was in real estate construction and our Mom had an acting/theater private school where she taught children and us performing arts. We went to school and attended theater and singing classes as after school activities from an early age. We also traveled a lot with our parents around Russia and Europe which we enjoyed very much as it exposed us to different cultures, arts and history.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

When we first moved to the United States, we started to make travel vlog videos that we posted on YouTube for our family and friends back home in Russia to watch about our adventures as we traveled around America. Then we decided to make lifestyle videos about our everyday life to meet new friends and posted them on our 1st YouTube channel “Nastya Artem Mia.” The feedback and comments from viewers were phenomenal right away! After seeing this, our Mom suggested that we try to produce and film fun educational and entertaining scripted videos for children, and the channel then started to grow right away as kids from around the world loved our videos.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your entertainment career?

Right after we started and our channels began to grow, we were taking a plane to Los Angeles and in the same row with us there was a family with two young children that were looking at us and smiling…we could not understand why they were smiling and then their Mom came up and asked us if we were indeed Artem, Nastya and Mia? This was our 1st fan recognition experience, and we were very excited! We became friends with this family and even spend some time together in LA! It was truly a fun and humbling experience for our entire family to learn that our videos bring happiness and joy to other children and their parents. Now, this happens quite often even when we go out just shopping for groceries!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Once, Artem was making a video where he was riding a pink kids’ scooter in a big Incredible Hulk costume around the neighborhood and all the neighbors were staring at him and taking pictures — he got so excited that for the moment he forgot that he was filming. Stacy and Artem sometimes mix up Russian and English words during the videos which is always funny — now we have a compilation of bloopers that are fun to watch! Also, when we started to make professional scripted videos, we thought it would be just like our previous non-scripted content — but it is actually quite different. One other mistake was that in the beginning, we made videos with storylines that would be familiar to only Russian viewers and not relatable to kids from all over the world. Also in the beginning we played around too much during filming and did not pay attention to the details of the script. Very soon we learned that it takes a lot of organization and discipline to make videos that play out specific roles while delivering at the same time meaningful and fun educational messages.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Who do you think that might help people?

Right now, we are working on a number of projects: we are actively developing and creating content for our new H20 channels where we play out extravagant and original challenges for our viewers who are the same age as we are. We are also working with a number of animation studios about developing animated content series of cartoons based on our characters. We are also in talks with a number of local charitable organizations involved with underprivileged children and animal rescue and are working to start raising awareness for these causes through our YouTube and Instagram platforms. We are also taking acting and singing classes with top teachers from LA to further develop our talents.

Most young people your age don’t have to balance work and school. Can you tell us how you manage to balance your schoolwork, auditions, and time on set?

We have a set schedule that is always fixed and planned sometimes months ahead, and as long as we follow it is pretty easy…school work always comes first at our house, and then it’s time for filming, friends, and family. It was hard in the beginning, but now we don’t even notice.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

It is our Mom! From an early age she always encouraged us to be ourselves and not to be afraid to express and develop our talents. She always supported us, especially when Artem was bullied in school in Russia for being in theater class by other boys. And of course our parents are our heroes because they decided to move to USA and leave their lives in Russia behind so we can have a better and brighter future and pursue our artistic goals.

Now let’s jump to the main part of our interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

Artem: 1) Importance of paying attention to all of the details in the script while acting — the audience is very attentive to all the tiny details which may seem trivial but are important; 2) Spending more time and attention on the script prior to filming in order to correspond to character I am playing; 3) Study the English language more and pay attention to pronunciation — in a couple instances I would mix up words which would come out funny and our fans would point it out in comments and then we would laugh about it; 4) Importance of staying healthy — I used to eat a lot of sweets and drink soda– so I started to eat healthy and exercise regularly and now have so much more energy to get through busy days of school and filming; 5) To be more expressive and confident with emotions on camera — this helps to show the character better and always helps the storyline.

Stacy: 1) Discipline during shooting — in the beginning I was having way too much fun and was joking around and it would take much longer to make a video; 2) Not to be afraid to be creative during filming and to add fun and interesting– one time I improvised and made a funny dance routine which was not in the original script and our viewers loved it — was not expecting such big positive response in the comments; 3) to experiment with showing emotions and facial expressions — I was able to master the ability to move my eye brows, eyes, nose and even my chin; 4) time management — the more I plan and stick to schedule the more I can get done…before I only had school and acting classes and it seemed like no time was left for anything else — now I can manage school, homework, acting, dance and singing classes, filming for our channels, photoshoots and still have time for family and friends; 5) We have a lot of toys and clothing (props) we use during filming and before we would use them 1–2 times and throw them away — now we collect them and donate to charities where they go to children who need them the most.

You are each people of enormous influence. How do you think you can use social media as a platform to be a positive influence to your fans, and for society at large?

We understand that our fans and friends from around the world watch what we do and follow our YouTube channels and everyday posts on Instagram. That is why we always try to set a positive inspirational example in absolutely every video and every post through the structured and thoughtful storyline and messaging, by bringing attention to and endorsing charitable causes and topics such as protecting the environment, kindness, and anti-bullying.

If you had the ability to choose to work on any TV show or film, or work alongside any co-star, or with any director, what or who would that be, and why? You never know who might see this article, especially if we tag them. 🙂 Artem would love to co-star with Will Smith in a comedy action movie because he is an amazing versatile actor who works very hard… for example, he showed his comedic talents in “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, his action skills in such great movies as “Independence Day” and “ I am Legend,” and his dramatic chops in the real-life story “Pursuit of Happiness”. Artem’s favorite director is Steven Spielberg because he brings out the best in every story and from every actor — he can tell a story like no one else! Stacy would love to work in “Stranger Things” alongside Millie Bobby Brown because the story and roles are simply amazing, energetic and inspiring to any young girl.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Best way to follow us on YouTube is by subscribing to our “Nastya Artem Mia” and “H20” channels which we have in 12 different languages ( English, Russian, Spanish, Portugese, German, Arabic, French, Turkish, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Korean, Hindu — viewer can choose their language for comfortable viewing) and on our Individual Instagram accounts “ nastya.odnovol” “ artem_odnovol” and “ mia_odnovol”. We always read our comments and engage with our fans and friends on social media platforms.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! Thank you very much and we appreciate this opportunity to tell you about our family and what we do!

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